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Suing Israel for war crimes

After a bloody wave of violence that claimed hundreds of precious lives this year, the Palestinian government has finally decided to move the International Criminal Court to hold the Israeli war criminals accountable and to bring justice to the Palestinian people.

In this regard the Palestinian authority had submitted a referral to the ICC calling on its prosecutors to open an immediate investigation into Israeli crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki had a one on one meeting with ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in The Hague, Netherlands a couple of days back. Minister Riyad al-Maliki at The Hague on Tuesday, where he gave her a new submission about new alleged war-crimes issues and told her that further delay on her part would allow Israel impunity.

After the meeting Maliki during a press conference told media men that the State of Palestine had taken a significant but historic step towards justice for the Palestinian people who he said have been terribly suffering from continuing widespread and systematic crimes.

In the meantime, chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had said that International Criminal Court Prosecution will not hesitate to criminally investigate alleged Israeli war crimes if required by its Rome Statute. “There should be no doubt that in this and any other situation currently before my office, I will always take the decision warranted by my mandate under the Rome Statute,” she said.

The ICC chief prosecutor’s statement is highly encouraging, one hopes that the court will go ahead with its mandate and initiate a thorough investigation into the systematic violence and genocide, which as per the interpretation in international law fall within a category of offences known as international crimes. Since the continued Israeli aggression against Palestinians is a matter of serious concern it is believed that the %ICC will launch a full investigation into the war crimes the Israeli army had committed against the hapless Palestinians over the past several years. Apart from Palestine government the international human rights groups have been demanding an independent and international probe into the killings, asking the ICC to open formal investigation as there is a widespread perception that without accountability the bloodshed in the region will go on unabated. The decision to sue Israel for its war crimes may probably make some hostile countries even more antagonistic but it is high time that Palestine authorities should stand to its ground and go ahead with its decision to seek justice for their people. For ICC holding Israel accountable for its crimes is a test case, only time will tell whether the ICC will do it according to its mandated duty or will succumb to international pressure as the US is perhaps the only country in the world that is opposed to any such move that aims at holding Israel accountable for war crimes.

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